“Environmental protection is practiced for protecting the natural environment for the benefit of both the environment and humans. Due to the pressures of overconsumption, population and technology, the biophysical environment is being degraded, sometimes permanently. This has been recognized, and governments have begun placing restraints on activities that cause environmental degradation. Since the 1960s, activity of environmental movements has created awareness of the various environmental problems. There is no agreement on the extent of the environmental impact of human activity and even scientific dishonesty occurs, so protection measures are occasionally debated.”
“Recycling is the process of converting waste materials into new materials and objects. It is an alternative to “conventional” waste disposal that can save material and help lower greenhouse gas emissions. Recycling can prevent the waste of potentially useful materials and reduce the consumption of fresh raw materials, thereby reducing: energy usage, air pollution (from incineration), and water pollution (from landfilling).
Recyclable materials include many kinds of glass, paper, cardboard, metal, plastic, tires, textiles, and electronics. The composting or other reuse of biodegradable waste—such as food or garden waste—is also considered recycling. Materials to be recycled are either brought to a collection center or picked up from the curbside, then sorted, cleaned, and reprocessed into new materials destined for manufacturing.
In the strictest sense, recycling of a material would produce a fresh supply of the same material—for example, used office paper would be converted into new office paper or used polystyrene foam into new polystyrene. However, this is often difficult or too expensive (compared with producing the same product from raw materials or other sources), so “recycling” of many products or materials involves their reuse in producing different materials (for example, paperboard) instead. Another form of recycling is the salvage of certain materials from complex products, either due to their intrinsic value (such as lead from car batteries, or gold from circuit boards), or due to their hazardous nature (e.g., removal and reuse of mercury from thermometers and thermostats).”
It is up to us as Master Naturalists to do everything we can to help protect our natural environments, by being well informed and exercising good judgement in the choices of what we buy or do, and how we educate and influence others. This page is intended to help us in that effort.
- Ad Hoc Committee informationPlastic Number Guide
- Ad Hoc environmental committee
- 2018-11-30 Environment Committee First Meeting Report
- Proposed Goals, by Kathey Lester 1/10/19
- Chapter AT and other presentations
- Recycling Resources in our area, summarized
- Personal projects shared with all
From Mike Conner: Plastic Number Guide (PDF for printing)
- Websites of Interest (in addition to all the links in Intro above)
- Recycling Basics by the EPA – https://www.epa.gov/recycle/recycling-basics
- Interesting Recycling Facts – “You can make a difference” – https://recyclingfacts.org/
- More Interesting Recycling Facts – “A Recycling Revolution” – http://www.recycling-revolution.com/recycling-facts.html
- Ten Ways to Improve Your Recycling – https://www.treehugger.com/htgg/how-to-go-green-recycling.html
- Excellent YouTube videos:
- “How Recycling Works” YouTube video – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b7GMpjx2jDQ
- “What Happens After Recycled is Collected?” – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s4LZwCDaoQM
- “Recycling at US Largest Facility, NYC” – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L2Rc8oTOtd8
- Interesting Reuse ideas – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R6U4wQiBWeA
- Green Tyranny, in the name of protecting the earth, John Stossel – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R5cJF9W157Y This is another set of views we all must understand. Recycling, alternate energy, global warming and more and what a lot of others are saying. Released April 2013. About 45 minutes but worth viewing.
- Recycling is in trouble, and it might be your fault – https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2017/04/20/weak-markets-make-consumers-wishful-recycling-big-problem/100654976/
- Massive Floating Boom for the Pacific – https://www.npr.org/2018/09/11/646724291/a-massive-floating-boom-is-supposed-to-clean-up-the-pacific-can-it-work
- Could mutant enzymes solve the world’s plastic problem? – https://www.citylab.com/environment/2018/04/let-them-eat-waste/558233/
- www.AlbatrossTheFilm.com A Chris Jordan film. View the 3 minute trailer, or the whole 1 hour 37 minute film.
- Also see Plastic Pollution Coalition website, and EPlasticomata website (come up in Spanish but click on translate in most browsers)
Stay tuned for more…